Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 18753311
J. Leukoc. Biol. 2008 Dec;84(6):1604-12
Alternate splicing of STAT1 produces two isoforms: alpha, known as the active form, and beta, previously shown to act as a dominant-negative factor. Most studies have dealt with STAT1alpha, showing its involvement in cell growth control and cell death. To examine the specific function of either isoform in cell death, a naturally STAT1-deficient human B cell line was transfected to express STAT1alpha or STAT1beta. STAT1alpha, expressed alone, enhanced cell death, potentiated the fludarabine-induced apoptosis, and enhanced the nuclear location, the phosphorylation, and the transcriptional activity of p53. Unexpectedly, STAT1beta, expressed alone, induced cell death through a mechanism that was independent of the nuclear function of p53. Indeed, in STAT1beta-expressing B cells, p53 was strictly cytoplasmic where it formed clusters, and there was no induction of the transcriptional activity of p53. These data reveal a novel role of STAT1beta in programmed cell death, which is independent of p53.